African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2022 round of 16 has just been completed and Ivory Coast and Mali surprisingly headed to the early exit following the favourite Nigeria. They were eliminated by Egypt and Equatorial Guinea through a penalty shootout yesterday.
Ivory Coast and Egypt squared off in a tight fixture. It was more of a contest of goalkeepers’ saves as the shot-stoppers from both sides managed to deny a number of decent chances. Ivorian Badra Sangare did it more at the first half while Mohammed El Shenawy of Egypt dominated the saves at the second half. One attempt from Omar Marmoush hit the crossbar. Unfortunately, Sangare’s great display at the normal time did not continue in the penalties. He was unable to deny any of the Egyptian’s strikes. Nicolas Pepe and Co had to lose 5-4 after a goalless stalemate in 120 minutes.
Ivory Coast vs Egypt 0-0 (4-5) on penalties
Ivory Coast: Badra Sangare – Deli, Eric Baily, Serge Aurier, Konan – Ibrahim Sangare, Serey Die (Franck Kessie 30) – Nicolas Pepe, Jean Michel Seri (Jeremie Boga 72), Max Gradel (Winfred Zaha 71) – Sebastian Haller (Maxine Cornet 105)
Egypt: Mohammed El Shenawy (Gabal 88) – Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelmonem , Ahmed El Fotouh, Kamal – Mohammed Elneny, Amr El Solya, Hamid Fathi (Zizo 84) – Omar Marmoush (Trezeguet 71), Mustafa Mohammed (M Sherif 91), Mo Salah
Meanwhile, Mali who was the favorite to advance in the last round of 16 game against Equatorial Guinea suffered the same way of defeat as the Ivorian. They were held in a goalless draw and had to rely on penalties to decide their fate. Sadly, the lady luck did not smile at them as Moussa Djenepo and Co were beaten 6-5 in the shootout. Ivory Coast and Mali eventually followed Nigeria, then Algeria plus Ghana to go home early. They all now have to get ready soon for the CAF World Cup playoffs. Their opponents have been drawn in the two-legged final round for the five tickets to Qatar 2022. The first leg will be staged on March 24th, while the reverse fixture will be held five days later. Here are the five matches of the playoffs:
Ghana vs Nigeria
Mali vs Tunisia
Egypt vs Senegal
RD Congo vs Morocco
Cameroon vs Algeria
In the meantime, Mo Salah dan Sadio Mane would have to focus on finishing the tournaments first before facing off for one ticket to Qatar. Here are the matches at the AFCON quarter finals.
Egypt vs Morocco
Burkina Faso vs Tunisia
Gambia vs Cameroon
Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea